February 01, 2006

World of the apple

Late last year Apple brought out a new program called "Aperture". A new photo editing/management program. It manages photos almost in a classical darkroom method. The User Interface is extremely fancy and smooth, and options are well sorted.


Not all is perfect in the land of perfection (yes, that's right...). The program has been released way too early. The program is full of bugs and loose ends. It is unstable, incomplete and the requirements are way too high! Also it seems like the program is running too slow (I guess this depends on your point of view). It turns out that the program can be compared with a Beta release of a very promising package. It supports...Well.. Nothing really. Spend 2000+ GBP on an Apple system, and buy this program. Then find out that your graphics card is actually not sufficient, so the program won't even install. And even if you manage to fool it into installing, it won't run if your computer does not meet the specs. You have to know how to fool the program into thinking it CAN run. After some serious searching I managed to get it working on my Mac. However, I did loose some of my faith in Apple due to this program. The program says it runs on iMac G5 1.8 GHz (Amongst others), with at least 1GB RAM (I have 2GB). But... It didn't install or run... My graphics card was not sufficient. What do you mean not sufficient??? I got a bloody iMac G5 1.8 GHz with 2GB RAM,specs say it is sufficient, why can't I run??? Ahh, well, that is because you don't have one of the graphics cards that is listed on the minimum requirements list. Not listed??? So fucking what??? An iMac does not have an interchangeable graphics card. It is integrated into the system. No way you can upgrade that! So why do they list this iMac? Well, I can only think of one reason... daftness... By law you could sew them because this is misleading advertisement. What is worse is that the program doesn't even run or install. Why can't I just make up my own mind? So what if my specs are not sufficient, that's my choice isn't it? Why make the program so that it disables startup and installation when you don't meet the specs? They stated it on paper, that should be the end of it. My choice if I want to run it on a lesser computer.
That's not all. Then they came out with the announcement that a new standard would come out that would support the newer intel based apples (yes, they can't run the program yet), in march. And customers who bought this program can exchange their discs for a new version, IF THEY PAY 49 US$!!!!! WTF????????
Well, I think people have been throwing with lawsuits because they now changed their tones. Everyone can download the updates for free. SO most people have calmed down.
Actually so have I, because I managed to get it running on my iMac, finally...

So is it really that slow? Well, let me ask you this: DO you have a PC and/or a Mac? If you have a PC, then you know how programs run, especially the latest fanciest programs and games. They don't run smooth. Generally they are over designed for the current hardware platforms. Well, same here. The program runs, and actually reasonably fast. I mean, it is not like photoshop, but it doesn't annoy me (yet). It is a tat slow, but hey, FS2004 on my PC is way slower, and my system is really not that slow! However, I can imagine that professionals would be annoyed with the slowness, especially when they are used to lightning fast reactions in photoshop.

So what does it do? Well, actually too much to mention. I suggest you just go to Apple's website to check that out. I did have a look at some features. For example, the loupe works better than I expected. Also the amount of adjustments and the type of adjustments is quite good. What is less good is that after I went into preferences and adjusted the background colour, later on I could no longer get into preferences. Also some of the button combinations for the viewer aren't logical. Some button combinations work, but others don't. There doesn't seem to be any logic behind that. It's also missing some RAW file adjustments that I would liked to have seen, like vignetting control and other lens corrections.
Also it is not possible to drag an image onto the "lightbox" just like that. From this perspective Adobe Lightroom works a lot better.
Having said that. Adobe lightroom seems to be missing many many functions that Apple Aperture does have! Sure RAW adjustments are much better under Adobe, but for the rest I think you can just do way more with Aperture then with Lightroom. However, Lightroom is still at Beta (and thus freely available), so it still has a lot of opportunities to develop into something powerful.

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